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'Momentum Is Shifting': MoveOn Calls for Democratic Presidential Candidates to Boycott AIPAC Conference

"This is a huge step in the right direction. AIPAC upholds the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and second class citizenship for non-Jews in Israel."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the 2018 AIPAC policy conference. (Photo: AIPAC)

MoveOn, a progressive advocacy group with millions of members, is calling on Democratic presidential candidates to boycott AIPAC's annual conference.

"It's no secret that that AIPAC has worked to hinder diplomatic efforts like the Iran deal, is undermining Palestinian self-determination, and inviting figures actively involved in human rights violations to its stage," Iram Ali, campaign director at MoveOn Political Action, said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are among the confirmed speakers for the event, which begins Sunday.

None of the Democratic presidential candidates are listed as speakers at the conference, and there is no indication that any of them plan to attend. But MoveOn's demand for a boycott will nevertheless "give a clear insight to 2020 candidates on where their base stands instead of prioritizing lobbying groups and policy people who rarely step outside of D.C.," said Ali.

Anna Zuccaro, a spokeswoman for MoveOn, told Politico that the boycott demand is "a clear sign that momentum is shifting."

The call to boycott the conference was viewed as further evidence of the generational shift within the Democratic Party over America's relationship with the Israeli goverment, which continues to brutally occupy and massacre Palestinians with impunity.

"This is a huge step in the right direction," tweeted Max Berger, co-founder of IfNotNow, a youth-led American Jewish advocacy group. "AIPAC upholds the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and second class citizenship for non-Jews in Israel."

MoveOn decided to call on Democratic presidential candidates to boycott AIPAC's conference after over 74 percent of its members expressed support for the move in an online survey.

On Twitter, MoveOn listed four reasons it is calling on Democratic presidential hopefuls to skip the event:

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